Located in Sen, a village 10 miles outside Ho Chi Minh City, the Sen Village Community Centre is elevated on a circular podium above the pond of a 48-hectare park. Vietnamese firm Vo Trong Nghia Architects designed the building to provide a meeting space for the residents of a new 2,200-house development within the village.
The community centre’s thatch-covered roof is supported by a network of arched and rope-bound bamboo columns and beams – a typical feature of Nghia’s architecture, who recently used the same technique for buildings in the Naman spa resort elsewhere in Vietnam.
The circular base and large cone-shaped roof give the building the appearance of a bandstand. It can host up to 250 people for parties, banquets, exhibitions and music performances.
“The building has a simple umbrella-like structure which consists of 28 pure bamboo frame units,” explained the architect.
A small circular skylight in the tip of the roof allows light and air to filter in from above. This passive cooling method means there is no need for air conditioning, and helps to minimise the building’s energy consumption.
“Regardless of the shrouding shape of the roof, the interior space needs no artificial lighting for daytime uses as a skylight and open periphery provide defused daylight,” explained the studio.
“The skylight also functions to discharge hot air from the top of the roof as breeze cooled by adjacent pond flows through the building.”
A four-metre-wide terrace surrounds the hall and is partially sheltered by the 30-metre roof span. This elevated walkway – which provides views over the pond and to the adjacent parkland – leads to a small brick volume housing toilets, a kitchen and an office.
Two piers link the podium to the planted grounds at the rear, where a kindergarten, exhibition hall and administration offices are located.
Vo Trong Nghia Architects is also currently working on the spa resort in Da Nang, which includes a trio of bamboo structures with thatched roofs supported by trumpet-shaped bamboo columns and a day spa with latticed walls, hanging gardens and pools of water by MIA Design Studio.
During the opening of the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennale earlier this month the firm unveiled its fourth prototype for low-cost housing, featuring a thatched facade and a mono-pitched roof.
Photography is by Quang Tran.
Architect Firm: Vo Trong Nghia Architects
Principal: Vo Trong Nghia
Architects: Nguyen Huu Son Duong, Nguyen Van Thien
Contractor: Wind and Water House JSC
Client: Phuc Khang Corporation
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